Sultana (grape)

Sultana (grape)

The sultana (also called the sultanina or sultani) is a type of white, seedless grape of Turkish or Iranian origin. It is also the name given to the raisin made from it; such sultana raisins are often called simply "sultanas" or "sultanis." These are typically larger than the currants made from Zante grapes, but smaller than "normal" raisins.

Sultana raisins have a delicate and unique flavor and are especially noted for their sweetness and golden colour.cite web|author=Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew|url=|title=Plant Facts: Christmas: Raisins|accessdate=2006-06-15]

The sultana raisin was traditionally imported to the English-speaking world from the Ottoman Empire, hence the name "sultana," from the feminine form of "sultan". Turkey and Australia are major producers.cite encyclopedia|encyclopedia=Oxford English Dictionary|edition=2nd ed.|year=1989|article=Sultana]

The sultana grape is cultivated in the United States under the name Thompson Seedless, named after William Thompson, a viticulturist who was an early grower in California and is sometimes credited with the variety's introduction.cite encyclopedia|encyclopedia=American Heritage Dictionary|article=Sultana|url=|edition=4th ed.|year=2000] cite web|author=Appellation America|title=Thompson Seedless|url=|accessdate=2006-06-15] According to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, the two names are synonymous.cite web|title=United States Code of Federal Regulations, title 7, section 999.300|url=|accessdate=2006-06-15] Virtually all of California raisin production (approximately 97% in 2000) and roughly one-third of California's total grape area is of this variety, making it the single most widely-planted variety.cite web|author=United States Department of Agriculture|url=|title=California Grape Acreage Report, 2002 Crop|accessdate=2006-06-15]

Not all speakers of English in Anglo America make clear distinctions between different types of dried grapes (raisins, sultanas, currants), and golden-coloured raisins made from other grape varieties may be marketed as "sultanas." In addition, virtually all California raisins are produced from the Thompson Seedless grape, even those which, because of different drying processes, are not golden like the traditional sultana raisin. The term "sultana" is not commonly used to refer to any type of raisin in American English; as most American raisins are from sultana grapes, they are called simply "raisins" or "golden raisins," according to colour. The latter, which at least in colour resemble the traditional sultana raisin, are artificially dried and sulfured, in distinction to "natural" raisins.cite web|title=United States Code of Federal Regulations, title 7, section 989.7|url=|accessdate=2006-06-15] All non-organic sultana grapes in California and elsewhere are treated with the plant hormone gibberellin.

As well as serving as a snack food without further processing, sultana raisins are used in a variety of dishes and baking, such as in scones, often prepared by soaking in water, fruit juice, or alcohol. The sultana grape is even used to make white wine, in which capacity it is known for its 'sweet blandness'.


See also

* Grape
* Raisin
* Zante currant

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  • Sultana — (Arabic: سلطانه ) has multiple meanings: * Sultana (grape) is a variety of white seedless grape, especially in its dried form as a type of raisin * Sultana (title) is a common Western styling for the wife of a Sultan or a female Sultan * Sultana… …   Wikipedia

  • sultana — [sult′ n issul tan′ə, sultä′nə] n. [It < Ar sulṭāna, fem. of sulṭān: see SULTAN] 1. the wife of a sultan, or the mother, sister, or daughter of a sultan: also sultaness [sult′ n is] 2. a mistress, esp. of a king, prince, etc. 3. a) a small,… …   English World dictionary

  • Grape — This article is about the fruits of the genus Vitis. For the European grapevine, see Vitis vinifera. For other uses, see Grape (disambiguation). White table grapes Grapes, purple or green …   Wikipedia

  • sultana — UK [sʌlˈtɑːnə] / US [sʌlˈtænə] noun [countable] Word forms sultana : singular sultana plural sultanas 1) a dried white grape, used especially in baking cakes 2) the wife, mother, sister, or daughter of a sultan …   English dictionary

  • sultana — noun Etymology: Italian, feminine of sultano sultan, from Arabic sulṭān Date: 1585 1. a woman who is a member of a sultan s family; especially a sultan s wife 2. a. a pale yellow seedless grape grown for raisins and wine b. the raisin of a… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • sultana — /sʌlˈtanə / (say sul tahnuh), /səl / (say suhl ) noun 1. a wife or concubine of a sultan. 2. any close female relative of a sultan. 3. a small, green, seedless grape. 4. a raisin made from such a grape. {Italian, feminine form of sultano sultan} …   Australian English dictionary

  • sultana — noun a) A pale yellow raisin made from a seedless grape b) A female relative of a sultan …   Wiktionary

  • Sultana — white raisin; a dried up white grape …   Dictionary of Australian slang

  • sultana — Australian Slang white raisin; a dried up white grape …   English dialects glossary

  • sultana — sul|tan|a [ sʌl tænə ] noun count 1. ) a dried white GRAPE, used especially in baking cakes 2. ) the wife, mother, sister, or daughter of a sultan …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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